Q&A | State of Emergency: Thapelo Kotlolo – Dancer and Choreographer

Q&A | State of Emergency: Thapelo Kotlolo – Dancer and Choreographer


He had never planned to become a professional dancer, but when Thapelo Kotlolo saw that his career as a fashion designer wasn’t taking off he decided to give dance a try. He studied performing arts and facilitation at The Sibikwa Arts Centre from 2008-2009. In 2010 he joined The Sibikwa Arts Dance Company and performed at different dance festivals in South Africa including the Grahamstown National Arts Festival. In 2011 he joined the internship programme of the Forgotten Angel Theatre Collaborative. He toured Europe with Ikusasa in 2012 and upon his return he re-joined Sibikwa as a senior dancer and facilitator. 2014 he presented his first choreography entitled Shades at Spring Loaded Festival. In 2015 he choreographed a dance piece entitled Men Don’t Talk which was presented at the Museum Of African Design as part of the Dance Umbrella Festival.


You are happiest when …
I am happiest when I am home with my family, especially with my little sisters. And when things come together.


What is the best thing everybody says about you? 
LOL… That I am sweet, sexy, loving, caring and talented.


What is your earliest memory?
My mom with a belt screaming and shouting at me, but funny enough looking into her eyes I knew there was love somewhere in there!


What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I don’t think I’m there yet, but I can feel it coming…


Tell us a secret
mmmm… a secret?! That would no longer be my secret then!


The last song you listened to today
Perfect ruins, by Kwabs


What makes you unhappy?
Not being able to do the things I want to do for my loved ones.


What is your favourite word?
Awesome. LOL… sometimes I feel that I overuse it.


The best place to watch the sunset
Every place with a view, especially when it feels like an irreplaceable moment. And I always have my phone camera ready for the next heartwarming moment in front of the sunset!


Happiness smells like….
My younger sister laughing in the next room


Fear smells like…
Silence in the darkness


What did you want to be when you were growing up?
An architect and fashion designer


The last book you read
The heart of Love, by Dr John F. Demartini 


Do you sing or dance under the shower?


What does love feel like?
The gentle summer rain


Where is home?
Where I am reminded of my people, my grandmother and my mom cooking. At my father’s house, where I will remain a child and where the walls are painted with love and everyone’s heart is in sync.


Thapelo Kotlolo is one of the dancers in Where Is Home?, State of Emergency’s international dance theatre production which tours the UK this October 2016 with shows at Stamford Arts Centre (Oct 11th), Guildhall Arts Centre, Grantham (Oct 12th), Stratford Circus Arts Centre, London (Oct 14th & 15th) and Circomedia, Bristol (Oct 26th & 27th). The show includes new composition from singer/songwriter and producer Steve Marshall and Grammy winning South African flautist, Wouter Kellerman, who have been working together, with the choreographers and dancers, to create the live performance and a recorded soundtrack.


Photo © 2016 Kevin Clifford


October 10th, 2016

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